Sunday night in Ohio

Ohio. A brittle Sunday with temperatures in the 20s. The part-time faculty strike against The New School continues, and the administration has hired a union-busting law firm. This afternoon I phone banked and attended online bargaining meetings, and all I can say is our union leaders are doing the Lord’s work.

Last night I managed to find my way onto Mastodon. I didn’t think I had the appetite for another social media channel, but when my friend O. mentioned it had the same spirit as the early 00s information superhighway, I decided to log on. And he’s right: it was heartening to find some familiar avatars in a space blessedly free of creepy advertisements, promotional horseshit, and the other grift mechanics to which we’ve become accustomed. Mastodon feels oddly wholesome, perhaps even too wholesome, as if a non-commodified space like this shouldn’t even exist nowadays. It’s like some mythical creature from the past has wandered into the middle of a twelve-land expressway. I’m not yet sure what I’ll do over there, but here I am.

This week’s edition of Sam Valenti IV’s Herb Sundays series features Veronica Vasicka, a diligent archivist of jet-black 1970s and 1980s synthetics and the founder of one of my favorite imprints, Minimal Wave. If you’re not familiar, start with the Minimal Wave Tapes, then dig into the Lost, Found, Hidden, and Bedroom tapes.

The soundtrack has been sorted for our 2000-mile drive in three days. Now C. and I can focus on packing.

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